READER COMMENTS ON
"Kansas Republicans Reject Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarian Economics, Endorse Democrat"
(38 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2014 @ 11:07 am PT...
Is there a Republican Governor who is not destroying their state economy?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2014 @ 2:39 pm PT...
Nice to see that conscience trumps partisanship once in a while, at least.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2014 @ 3:07 pm PT...
So "radical libertarianism" means "rais[ing] taxes on middle and lower income families," "regressive sales tax increase[s]," "the elimination of tax credits," and "increasing the state's debt load." That's amazing news, if true. Please provide a cite, since I've never heard of one real "radical libertarian" (that is, one not made of straw) who advocates those policies.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/17/2014 @ 5:19 pm PT...
With all due respect, George Dance @3, you really need to sharpen up your reading skills.
Not once in this article did I ascribe to "radical libertarianism" a philosophy of raising taxes on middle and lower income families, regressive taxes or increasing the debt load. Those were, instead, the logical outgrowth of the libertarian insistence on drastic tax cuts for the wealthy. The devastation of the Kansas economy was also precisely what one can expect whenever the libertarian devotees of inequality carry out such policies as drastic tax cuts for the wealthy.
What I described is a vice-into-virtue philosophy that treats individual greed, masquerading as "individual liberty," as a virtue --- a philosophy that rejects the very concept of res publica.
If you bothered to follow the link to the video presentation by George Mason Univ. Prof. Nigel Ashford made on behalf of Learn Liberty.org, one of the many Koch-funded doctrinal institutions. “Liberty,” he proclaims, “is the primary value.” By that, Ashford is referring solely to the liberty of the individual, whose interests should never be sacrificed to “the common good.”
That core philosophy is not new. It can be found in the novels of the Russian-born Ayn Rand, who adopted a radical form of individualism sans social responsibility that is every bit as extreme as the totalitarian, Stalinist brand of collectivism that Rand fled.
Rand’s philosophy, as expressed through the fictional character Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, advanced the absurd notion that an individual’s devotion to the common good stifles creativity.
Thus, Rand sought to justify the architect Roark’s dynamiting of a public housing project because bureaucrats had altered his superior design, by having Roark tell a jury that “the integrity of a man’s creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor” and that he, Roark, recognized “no obligations towards men except…to respect their freedom.”
Charles Koch respects an individual's "freedom to starve." When he speaks of individual liberty, he is speaking of the "liberty" of the one percent to enslave the rest of humanity.
In the hands of a Charles Koch, words like unchecked “liberty” and “individual freedom” take on an Orwellian dimension as Koch Industries took the lead in efforts at “thought control” and political intimidation of its own employees, as the corporation fed them political materials and told employees how to vote.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2014 @ 7:23 pm PT...
All varieties of interference with the market phenomena not only fail to achieve the ends aimed at by their authors and supporters, but bring about a state of affairs which—from the point of view of their authors’ and advocates’ valuations—is less desirable than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter. If one wants to correct their manifest unsuitableness and preposterousness by supplementing the first acts of intervention with more and more of such acts, one must go farther and farther until the market economy has been entirely destroyed and socialism has been substituted for it. Ludwig von Mises
I couldn't have said it better myself. Eventually the government will grow to consume all wealth to support its continued exponential excesses, and in the end, the suffering will be monumental and worldwide in scope because of flawed logic like yours put into hideous practice. It's been a fun ride but explosive debt eventually runs its course as it has throughout history. No nation can survive unchecked government greed and corruption.
Disparity of individual wealth is not the problem, fat, nanny, corrupt government is. But so-called progressives--really authoritarian statists--like you have little understanding of the persistence of human nature and think they can change it by government decree and become one big happy welfare state where everybody strives in spite of the dole.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2014 @ 9:49 pm PT...
Abbey @ 5:
Wow. Thanks, Abbey! That Mises fellow sounds pretty smart! Any idea where I can go see his ideas for a libertarian utopia in real life action?
Thanks in advance!
Also, great to know "Disparity of individual wealth is not the problem, fat, nanny, corrupt government is." For a second, I thought all those folks in poverty and who had their mortgages stolen from them by big corporations were the problem. Now I see that it's the private corporations with no legal or moral or fiduciary duty to anyone or anything but profits for their shareholders who I should put my confidence in, rather than overseeable, accountable, self-governance of the people, by the people and for the people. Neither Ronald Reagan nor Charles Koch nor the good folks at BP or Bank of America or Enron or even Charles Ponzi could have said it better! I'm in! When do I get my Brooklyn Bridge?
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 6:34 am PT...
I love the comments sections on this website. Whenever an obvious defender of the faith googles their phrase looking for a new battlefield (in this case "radical libertarianism" and/or "Mises"), I can always count on Brad and/or Ernest to logic bomb them. It's refreshing for someone who lives in a red congressional district.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 7:29 am PT...
Abbey @ 5 wrote:
Eventually the government will grow to consume all wealth to support its continued exponential excesses, and in the end, the suffering will be monumental and worldwide in scope...
Here's a little dose of reality, Abby. Your wondrous "free market" has produced a stark disparity of wealth in which "the 85 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest" --- wealth that is hoarded since it is impossible for those misers to spend it even if they so desired.
In fact, Forbes reports that the "super rich" have hidden some $21 trillion in tax-evading, off-shore accounts.
What you refer to as "exponential excesses" involve such core democratic governmental function, expressly recognized by the U.S. Constitution, of "promoting the general welfare" --- as in providing education, infrastructure, security, a sustainable, livable environment, and, in every industrial nation except the U.S., single-payer (e.g. Medicare) healthcare for all.
The reality is that those 3.5 billion people are, at this moment, suffering on a monumental and worldwide scale precisely because the myth of a "free market" to which you subscribe, permits those at the pinnacle of the global corporate empire, like the Koch brothers, who have no sense of social responsibility or public good, to hoard all the wealth.
Finally, we have in Charles Koch, an adherent to the libertarian mumblings of Ludwig von Mises, the epitome of hypocrisy.
Corporations are the functional equivalent to a totalitarian state. They are top down organizations in which orders from above must be unquestionably carried out by their employees.
Charles is the CEO of Koch Industries. According to his older brother, Bill, Charles rules Koch Industries with an iron fist. In proclaiming his belief in the primacy of "individual liberty," Charles has either displayed a remarkable lack of self-awareness or has displayed a remarkable level of Orwellian duplicity.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 9:27 am PT...
I kinda figured you'd ignore that little problem of government debt. Gee, where does all that money go? How much bigger can it get? What happens when it implodes? Goodbye everything, including all those slaves to government your socialist utopia has created. Detroit is our nation's future.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 10:17 am PT...
Abby @9 wrote:
I kinda figured you'd ignore that little problem of government debt.
Please pay attention, Abby.
One of the core points of this article, which the Kansas Republicans themselves made, was that these draconian, radical libertarian tax cuts are the source of the state's massive debt.
As I previously reported in Why Isn't 'Tea Party' 'Hostage-Taking' a Crime?:
While hard right libertarians "pretend" to be fiscal conservatives, in fact their policies are deliberately designed to create massive deficits precisely because those massive deficits destroy the government's ability to perform its core function of promoting the general welfare.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 10:28 am PT...
As an addendum to my last comment, need I remind anyone as to how, through similar draconian tax cuts and unpaid wars of choice, George W. Bush not only squandered the massive surplus he inherited from President Clinton but wrecked the economy?
Then again, perhaps the attention span of those taken in by radical libertarian propaganda does not go back further than the last little lie they've been spoon fed by the Fox "News" Network?
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:04 pm PT...
"One of the core points of this article, which the Kansas Republicans themselves made, was that these draconian, radical libertarian tax cuts are the source of the state's massive debt."
Does government outspend what it takes in no matter how much it takes in? Yes. Does DHS exist because there is now enough money to fund this new bloated brown shirt brigade? No. Do the enormous increases in spending by the great behemoth government go to the general welfare of the people? You can't see that government is growing to maintain itself and its power, not to help the country. You really think government can just keep sucking productivity out of those who produce while it produces nothing, and that won't culminate in some kind of hell. It's called a day of reckoning, and it's happened throughout history. It will happen to our country because of people like you.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:12 pm PT...
As far as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, both of which are evil wars of aggression on our government's part, not the people, I didn't see a whole lot of Democrats voting against that. Most of those in power now on both sides should be jailed for endemic corruption. I don't believe in the kind of libertarianism you are talking about, but your ideas about what the role of government is in a Republic has nothing to do with the Constitution and is resulting in the growing fascism we see from the current administration.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:20 pm PT...
I am a conservative. Libertarians have perverted view of a nation without borders which is impossible with the kind of welfare state we have to support. I also believe abortion is murder. We haven't had a truly free market. Crony capitalism and insider trading by those in corporations and government should be illegal. Clinton should not have repealed Glass--Steagall. It's the single worse thing he did as president, and it may eventually bring down the whole world economy.It certainlt started the ball rolling.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:30 pm PT...
Finally, government has proven itself irresponsible with the money it takes from its citizens. It is cancerous. And you want to pretend it really works in the way our founders intended.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:37 pm PT...
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:49 pm PT...
Abby @14 writes:
your ideas about what the role of government is in a Republic has nothing to do with the Constitution.
You might want to actually read the Constitution.
Article I, Section 8, Clause I (emphasis added:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.
The 16th Amendment expressly established that the government has a right to collect an income tax. Therefore, the government has a right to impose an income tax in order to provide for the general welfare.
The Preamble to the Constitution also identifies the promotion of the general welfare as one of the core purposes of government.
The Constitution also provides for a Republican form of government. As James Madison revealed in the Federalist Papers, Republican form of government is synonymous with "representative democracy."
As to "fascism," I'd suggest you pay heed to the words of former Vice President Henry Wallace, which appeared in his April 9, 1944 New York Times op-ed:
The very people you seek to defend, ruthless billionaires like the Koch brothers, fit nicely into Wallace's definition of "fascism." Government of, for and by the people, does not.
If you truly are against those illegal wars of aggression and if you truly oppose the repeal of Glass Steagall, you ought to be supporting the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) --- not "pretend" conservatives who have duped you into believing that democratic governance and a government to serves the interests of the people by promoting the general welfare is the enemy.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:54 pm PT...
Abbey said @ various:
As far as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, both of which are evil wars of aggression on our government's part, not the people, I didn't see a whole lot of Democrats voting against that.
I don't believe anybody has said anything about Democrats at all in this discussion. That said, those who voted against both wars were almost exclusively Democrats. Still, many Dems shamelessly fell for the Republican hoaxes and voted in favor, as, I'm guessing you did, even as MILLIONS took to the streets to rally against inappropriate wars of lies and aggreession and were almost completely ignored by the corporate media, other than to be mocked by those in the Republican Party, as anti-American.
I don't believe in the kind of libertarianism you are talking about
And yet you quote and idolize Mises. Fun!
Your ideas about what the role of government is in a Republic has nothing to do with the Constitution
Ah. A Tenther! Why didn't you just say so at first? In any case, you are wrong. Unless you'd like to ignore most of it (including that "promote the general welfare" part that shows up twice in it.)
I am a conservative. ... I also believe abortion is murder.
Ah, I see. One of those "conservatives" who believes Big Government should intrude between a woman and her doctor. Got it. Thanks!
We haven't had a truly free market. Crony capitalism and insider trading by those in corporations and government should be illegal.
Agreed. But then why did you vote for George W. Bush twice?
Clinton should not have repealed Glass--Steagall. It's the single worse thing he did as president, and it may eventually bring down the whole world economy.It certainlt started the ball rolling.
Well, that ball started rolling long before Clinton (with Reagan), but I certainly agree that his Republican-endorsed repeal of Glass-Steagall (along with his signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996), was absolutely devastating to the nation as well as the world.
Finally, government has proven itself irresponsible with the money it takes from its citizens. It is cancerous.
Funny, you should say that. Especially, since the private corporations you wish to let loose into a "truly free market" (even while calling for Glass-Steagall to be restore! No conflict there! Sigh...) have given so much ACTUAL cancer and death to the citizenry, in the form of tobacco, asbestos, benzene, pesticide, naphthalene, etc. etc. etc. --- only some of which has been stopped thanks to the government of the people, by the people and for the people that you so detest.
And you want to pretend it really works in the way our founders intended.
Yes, it works as they intended, though, in many ways, not as they could have possibly forseen. Who would have thought that the Supreme Court would have decided way back in the 1800s that "corporations are people", and that in the 2000s that fictional entities like private corporations would be again re-affirmed as "people", by the Republican-appointed Supreme Court majority, and would be granted the same free speech and religious rights as actual human beings.
BTW, as a supposed "conservative", it's amusing that you'd support (apparently) the policies of folks like Brownback and the Kochs in Kansas, which have broken the bank, increased the costs, and led to the a downgrade of the state's credit rating by Moody's. But I guess that's what you mean by "conservative"?
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 3:58 pm PT...
Abby linked to CA's debt clock @ 16:
Oh, noes! Debt!!! We better let as many people die as needed, in order to pay it off right away!
BTW, since you cited CA's debt clock, I presume that means you must support Jerry Brown and the Democrats who have turned the state around from previous Republican policies, to finally run the budget at a surplus since taking back power the Republican Governor. Right? Please lemme know!
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 4:00 pm PT...
Re Abby @16:
Truly amusing. Ignore the fact that the Democrats have eliminated the California deficit and replaced it with a surplus.
All the right wing propagandists have to do to convince the likes of Abby is rig up a "debt clock" with spinning numbers --- no references to actual government statistics or sources --- and Abby swallows the "we're drowning in debt" canard, hook, line and sinker!
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/18/2014 @ 4:10 pm PT...
Abby @14 writes:
I also believe abortion is murder
Given your profound opposition to government providing any form of public assistance to those in need, because, after all, that would entail the use of tax dollars, it appears that you are one of those classic pretend conservatives who will do anything to preserve the sanctity of life up until a mother actually gives birth to her child.
After a child is born, he or she is, according to you, is on their own! If the child's parents don't make enough to feed and clothe them, well, that's your "free market" at work in the form of "natural selection."
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 5:47 pm PT...
Abby is a typical Fox watcher that believe everything that the Fox cult tells her. I hear all the time that I am going to watch Fox as they are the only station that tells the truth. Although there was a recent study done that showed that over 50% of what they said was false. But you cannot tell someone in a cult any different. They are so used to having someone else thinking for them. The whole country has short memories. They cannot remember how many people were being laid off each month before the this administration took over.
If we had gone through another six months of Bush's term we would have been in a DEPRESSION instead of a very bad recession. How quickly we forget especially when you have Fox telling their viewers how bad they now. Fox uses religion and fear to control their viewers.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 10:37 pm PT...
I didn't vote for psychopath Bush both times. I was vehemently against the murderous war on Iraq, which has been ongoing for over 20 years, and the war in Afghanistan which accomplished nothing but increased heroin production and resulted in many thousands of innocent deaths. Almost all wars are based on lies, and "war is a racket." Our government wars against its own people and uses the pretext of wars, whether it is against terrorism or drugs to build a surveillance state that will grow into something akin to the Stasi. That doesn't seem to concern you. The total control of information will destroy our rights as free people, but you are more concerned about the ability of the government to tax which is also the ability to destroy.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2014 @ 10:49 pm PT...
And no, I do not watch FOX news. I haven't watched TV since the year following the 911 attacks. I saw what this government took advantage of the fear of terrorism to start building a police state, and how it was promulgated by TV journalists. I freed my mind by turning off the news and all television shows and reading the news from both sides in print and on the internet where there is still freedom of the press. I don't mean to offend anyone, I like Brad blog. You write well Brad. I am an artist and don't write very often, but I read a lot. I really don't think our nation is going in a sustainable direction. Good bye.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 7/20/2014 @ 11:20 pm PT...
In #23, Abbey said "I didn't vote for psychopath Bush both times". I can't help wondering why you didn't say "I didn't vote for psychopath Bush EITHER TIME". Were you parsing your words or can you honestly say you never voted for Bush for president?
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 7/21/2014 @ 9:51 am PT...
Yes Steve, you are right. I parsed my words out of genuine embarrassment. People do grow up sometimes and become aware of changes in government that are so profound that they will have dire implications for our children. I voted for Bush the first time. That was before I was aware of what can only be described as his psychopathy or his retardation. Take you pick. And I would have to have been brain dead to vote for him the second time. I voted libertarian Browne in the 2004 election and Badnarik against Obama. Bush also cured me of allegiance to any particular party and vote my conscience. How's that vote for Obama going for you?
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 7/21/2014 @ 9:55 am PT...
I meant to say Brown in 2000. I had to write him in as he did not appear in my state's(Arizona) ballot.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 7/21/2014 @ 5:58 pm PT...
I have been hearing my entire life (I am 56) how the deficit was going to eat us all alive. It hasn't happened yet. And it ain't gonna happen, at least not in my lifetime. I'd wager a year's salary on that.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 7/21/2014 @ 7:16 pm PT...
It's already starting in other countries. It will reach us. Maybe next year. Maybe ten years from now. When the debt bubble bursts, it will be unlike anything the world has experienced. Enjoy the ride while you can, but realize your children will not have it so good. Think of those after you. The great depression was not that long ago, and 30 percent of the people lived on farms and could muddle through just barely. People still starved. You think worse can't happen with a quadrillion dollar debt bubble. You don't have any sense of history. You weren't around then, but your parents and grandparents went through it. Good luck.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 7/21/2014 @ 8:13 pm PT...
Abbey said @ 29:
It's already starting in other countries.
Really? Which ones? Lemme know!
In the meantime, you better buy some gold, guns and survival seeds in the meantime! Not that anyone is trying to hoax you into doing that or anything.
Enjoy the ride while you can, but realize your children will not have it so good. Think of those after you.
You have no idea of the hilarity and/or irony I enjoy in reading that phrase after you laughably (and unsupportedly) began your recent comment on this global warming thread with: "Even if, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, global warming were happening..."
You couldn't be more of a caricature of yourself if you tried, Abbey. Oh, and I forgot to mention previously, welcome to The BRAD BLOG! Great to have ya here! My apologies for the tardy welcome!
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 2:05 am PT...
Thanks Brad! Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cypress, Canada, China. Many countries are in trouble because of debt. Detroit is an interesting model of liberal monetary policy.
Anything I say doesn't come across as erudite as you think yourself, but in my simple way, I still am aware enough to know that the people you vote for aren't very smart, having no experience in actually producing something of value. We should be led by people who are something other than drains on society, but the parasite class you admire has you firmly up its ass, so vote for those new carbon taxes and whatever taxes you feel drive the engine of commerce. Also watch as true contributors to society like Ben Carson make fools of your heroes.
By the way, I paint much better than you write, and people pay well to have my work on their walls. If you weren't such an asshole, I wouldn't feel compelled to say that, so forgive me. I'll still read you blog though. It's entertaining in a cartoonish sort of way.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 2:19 am PT...
I meant to say "your blog instead of you "you blog." I type faster than I think and don't check my writing as often as I should.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 8:52 am PT...
Abbey @ 32--
If you could share the gauge which you're using and which gives you confidence to qualitatively compare writing to painting, I'd be interested to see it.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 9:08 am PT...
Also- very interesting turn of phrase where you call Brad an asshole and then ask his forgiveness for his being one. I think you may have rung the highest passive-aggressive bell on that one. Excuse me for saying so, but nice goin'.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 7/22/2014 @ 10:21 am PT...
Abby @32 wrote:
I type faster than I think
Reading your many comments, I was reminded of an adage my father once taught me, that would seem to apply here if we substituted the word "speak" for "write."
Throughout your comments you rail and rail about debt without any understanding of its source within what has become the corporate global empire.
Instead of continuing to embarrass yourself by arguing with knowledgeable readers at this site by way of what amounts to right wing "talking points" (aka right wing propaganda) on such subjects as the debt and global climate change, I would respectfully suggest that you follow the advice of one of our Founding Fathers, James Madison, and begin to "arm yourself with the power that knowledge can provide."
Specifically, I'd urge you to read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
After doing so, I believe that, if you are an honest person, you will come to realize just how foolishly uninformed your comments here appear to others.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 10:48 am PT...
I already lost the argument by calling Brad an asshole. You all have the last words among yourselves.
I haven't read Naomi's book, but I will. I would hope it deals partly with the fact that free markets are skewed because of government policies and the government's perverse relationship with the banking industry and corporate interests. Democratic and Republican administrations continue the same policies. That's why I vote independent.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 11:00 am PT...
It's not the calling Brad an asshole that I personally mind so much as the way you do it. Believe it or not most of us have had our disagreements with Brad from time to time. But we usually don't call him an asshole while handing him a smiley faced lollipop. If you stick around I think you'll find that disagreements often get
resolved with a fair degree of civility around here.
I strongly second Ernie's recommendation of Naomi Klein's book.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 7/22/2014 @ 9:45 pm PT...
Governor Don Siegelman is still imprisoned for an invented crime benefiting him not one dollar, with the contributor also sent to jail over an unpaid board position as a supposed reward.
On top of all that, the contribution was to a separate campaign for a state lottery, not to Don.
How is Don in jail and sleaze like Brownback, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, all of whom handed the rich a big bag of cash (tax breaks) upon taking office as Governors, not?